Township of Rideau Lakes
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THE CORPORATION OF THE TOWNSHIP OF RIDEAU LAKES

 

POLICY AND PROCEDURE FOR STOPPING UP, CLOSING AND SALE OF A

MUNICIPAL HIGHWAY (January, 2004)

 

The reference of Section numbers below refer to the Municipal Act of Ontario, 2001, c.25 as amended.

 

GENERAL POLICIES

 

The Municipal Act provides that a Council of a Municipality may pass by-laws for stopping up all or part of a highway and for leasing or selling the same.  A highway includes any road under the municipalities jurisdiction.

 

The Township will consider requests to stop-up, close and sell municipal owned road allowances provided:

 

a)      the unopened road allowance is deemed to be not required for current or future Township use;

b)      Council’s policy is that where road allowances abut the shores of lakes and rivers and are not required for public access to the water, such road allowances may be closed by the Township. 

c)      All costs (survey costs, legal fees, etc.) are borne by the applicant and/or to those persons whom the lands are to be sold.  There shall be no expense to the Township of Rideau Lakes.

d)      Section 34 (7) of the Municipal Act, 2001 c.25, provides that a by-law which has the effect of permanently closing or altering a highway is not valid if the result is a person having no motor vehicle access to and from the person’s land over any highway, unless the person agrees to such by-law.

 

 

SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS

 

In order for the Committee to review the request, the applicant shall submit the following information:

 

  1. A Letter of Request to stop-up and close a road allowance, shall include an accurate description of the portion of the road allowance requesting to be closed, and a legal description of the applicant’s lands.
  2. The Letter shall also contain reasons requesting the closure of the road allowance.
  3. A map of the proposed road allowance to be stopped up and closed, including the identification of adjacent lands, including the location of buildings.

 

 

 

 

THE CORPORATION OF THE TOWNSHIP OF RIDEAU LAKES

 

POLICY AND PROCEDURE FOR STOPPING UP AND SALE OF A

MUNICIPAL HIGHWAY (January, 2004)

 

 

PROCEDURES

 

1.                  A letter of request, with sketch, must be submitted to the Manager of Planning Services  at the Municipal Office to request initial approval from the Planning Advisory Committee.  This Committee then makes a recommendation to Council to refuse or to grant preliminary approval.

 

2.                  A Resolution will be passed by the Committee and adopted by Council to proceed or not to proceed with the necessary steps.

 

3.                  If the request is to proceed, the application, along with the Resolution from the Committee, will be forwarded to the Township Solicitor.  The Township Solicitor, Barker Willson, will handle ALL road closings.  Contact is John Willson, at 31 Foster Street, P.O. Box 308, Perth, Ontario, K7H 3E4, Tel: 613-267-2800, Fax: 613-267-4852.  Any reference in this document to “The Solicitor”, means the Township Solicitor.

 

4.                  Prior to the Solicitor proceeding, a deposit in the amount of $1,000.00 is required by the applicant for administration costs, lawyer fees, purchase price of land etc.  The cheque shall be payable to “Barker Willson in Trust”, any balance will be returned to the applicant when the procedure is complete.  Any balance owing will be collected from the applicant prior to the transfer of land to the applicant.

 

5.                  The Solicitor will prepare a Notice of Closing and forward to the Manager of Planning Services for a hearing date and signature from the Clerk.   The Notice must be published in a local publication a minimum of two (2) weeks prior to meeting, in accordance with the Township of Rideau Lakes By-law Number 2002-208.

The Solicitor will also forward a copy of the Notice, by registered mail, to the Clerk of the United Counties of Leeds & Grenville, prior to the date specified in the Notice for hearing before Council.

 

6.                  The Municipal Council will require letters, approving the proposed closing from, the Ministry of Transportation ( if the highway to be closed abuts a highway controlled by the Ministry of Transportation, Bell Canada, Hydro One and in certain cases the Crown in the right of Canada.  In order to obtain such letters, the Solicitor advises each of these bodies of the proposed closing and resolves any concerns they may have prior to submission of the material to the Municipal Council for passage of the necessary by-laws.  An example of such a concern, often the Municipality may need to enter into an Easement Agreement with Hydro One to confirm their continued right to use a previously-undocumented Easement across the portion of the highway proposed to be closed upon which Hydro One has located a transmission line.

 

THE CORPORATION OF THE TOWNSHIP OF RIDEAU LAKES

 

POLICY AND PROCEDURE FOR STOPPING UP AND SALE OF A

MUNICIPAL HIGHWAY (January, 2004)

 

 

7.                  The Solicitor will obtain a survey showing the parts to be closed and conveyed to the respective adjacent landowners. 

 

8.                  The proposed by-law is discussed at a Public Meeting as advertised, Council must listen to objections by any person who claims that he or she will be affected by the proposed by-law.  Virtually, the only grounds on which a successful objection can be made is that if the by-law is passed its effect will be to deprive any person of motor vehicle access to their property.  If such denial of access would result from the passage of the By-law and closing of the highway, then the objector may be entitled to be compensated and provided another convenient access route.

 

9.                  Provided there are no valid objections, and upon receiving affidavit proof that the advertising and notice requirements have been carried out, Council then passes a by-law.  Firstly, to declare surplus to the needs of the municipality, to close all or part of the highway and authorize its sale at a specific price which has been established by an independent professional appraisal.

 

10.              Following the passage of the by-law it is registered in the Registry Office, and a valid Deed, including a Certificate of Compliance,  can then be given to the applicant by the Township upon payment by you of the agreed purchase price and all of the costs involved in the process, chief among which are the costs of surveying, appraisal, legal fees and disbursements, and advertising costs.

 

11.              If the lands on either side of the highway being closed are owned by different persons, each is normally entitled to acquire that portion of the highway closed, to the center line thereof.  If one person desires to acquire both “halves” of the highway, the consent of the “opposite” land owner will be required or, at the least, evidence of his refusal to purchase the portion  adjacent to his lands.

 

 

TIME FRAME

 

Assuming that all required information is provided, the Solicitor will begin the advertising process within thirty days of receipt of instructions.  The advertising process and notification to the County may consume an approximate two month period.  If there are no objector, the By-laws can usually be passed by Council at the next meeting held within the following month.  Therefore, it can be anticipated that a By-law will be passed within four months of the date the
Solicitor has been instructed to proceed. 

 

 

 

THE CORPORATION OF THE TOWNSHIP OF RIDEAU LAKES

 

POLICY AND PROCEDURE FOR STOPPING UP AND SALE OF A

MUNICIPAL HIGHWAY (January, 2004)

 

COSTS

 

As all costs are borne by the Applicant, the following should be anticipated:

 

a)      The costs of surveying the parcel to be closed (a Surveyor should be consulted in regards to costs);

 

b)      The costs of an appraisal  - usually under $450.00;

 

c)      Advertising costs – usually between $500.00 and $1,000.00, depending on the number of publications required by the Municipality;

 

d)      Legal fees – These will be based on the amount of time spent on the matter and billed at $250.00 per hour, depending on the complexity, by the Solicitor involved and $125.00 per hour for his Assistant, plus GST.  A review of the fees charged by the writer with respect to highway closings since 1993 indicates that, in the situation where a highway to be closed was situate wholly in one municipality and the parcel was to be conveyed to one owner, our fees ranged from a low of $650.00 to a high of $1,294.00.  Another closing, for conveyance of parts to seven owners and with title complications, resulted in a fee of $4,400.00.  Another, where the highway was under the joint jurisdiction of two municipalities and required closing procedure by both municipalities, resulted in a fee of $1,746.00.

 

e)      Disbursements  - This includes some items of normally minimal expense such as sub-searches at the Registry Office, registered mail and photocopies, plus $120.00 paid to the Province to register the By-laws, $60.00 paid to the Province to register the Deed, Land Transfer Tax payable to the Province at $5.00 per thousand of value of the transaction on transactions under $55,000.00 in value, and registration fees payable to the Province for the registration of any documents required to protect the interest of any of the bodies or person incidentally affected by the road closing.

 

f)        The purchase price.

 

If, as noted above, the road closing leads to sales of the portion closed to more than one person, then the legal costs, and the bulk of the disbursements, will be divided among the persons so purchasing so that a significant economy may be possible.  Please note that the allocation of the costs among more than one Applicant will be in the discretion of the Solicitor involved and will, in most cases, reflect the relative appraised values of the parcels conveyed to the Applicants.

 

As stated above, in order to proceed we request a deposit in the amount of $1,000.00 by cheque payable to “Barker Willson, in trust”.

 


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Township of Rideau Lakes, 1439 County Road 8, Delta, ON, K0E 1G0
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